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I already have a higher education qualification, however my career plans have changed and I want to do another undergraduate qualification at an equivalent level. Is it possible to get the BTEA in these circumstances?
In general, no. Only in very exceptional cases is it possible to get the BTEA in these circumstances. You should contact your local social welfare officer for guidance.

I already have an Ordinary degree qualification and I now wish to make it an honours degree qualification through further study. Is it possible to get the BTEA in these circumstances?

If I have to repeat a year of an approved course and was in receipt of the BTEA, will I continue to receive payment during the repeat year?
Yes, as long as you are registered as full-time on the repeat year and are repeating the year of the course in full (all modules).  A person will only be allowed to repeat one academic year of their course on the basis of exam failure.  Do remember however that the student must pay tuition fees to repeat a year.  The BTEA cannot assist with this charge.

I am enrolling in a course approved for a student grant. I expect to qualify for the BTEA. Will this affect my grant application?
Yes. From September 2010 onwards, students entering a new course who are in receipt of the BTEA will no longer be eligible for a maintenance grant. Such students, can, however apply under the relevant student grant scheme to have the student services charge and any tuition fees payable for the course paid on their behalf. 

I have been approved for maintenance, does this make me ineligible to receive BTEA?
No, but once you become a recipient of the BTEA you will become ineligible for any further maintenance (with the exception of the student services charge. See previous question).

I want to do a full-time foundation or access course first prior to applying for a higher education course. Am I still eligible to apply for BTEA?
Yes. The BTEA scheme includes a ‘second-level’ option and full-time foundation or access courses fall within the scope of this option.

Does receipt of the BTEA affect your eligibility for the Student Assistance Fund ?
No. The BTEA does not affect your eligibility to apply for assistance from these funds, however the fund administrators will take into account your income from BTEA when assessing your case.

I wish to pursue a full-time course approved under the BTEA. I have a child dependent who will need to be in childcare. Does the BTEA include a childcare payment?
No, the BTEA does not provide an additional specific payment for this. However, if you have a dependent, this will be reflected in the social welfare payment that qualifies you for the BTEA and will continue to be reflected in the BTEA payment. The annual Cost of Education allowance which is part of the BTEA scheme may be of help with the childcare costs. Other possible sources of assistance include the Student Assistance Fund. In addition, many higher education colleges have a creche on-campus and provide a limited number of childcare places for students at a subsidised rate.

I have decided to study for a higher education qualification further afield, possibly in Northern Ireland, Great Britain or another EU country. Does the BTEA support eligible students in these circumstances?
Yes, as long as your chosen course is approved for a maintenance grant.

If my application for BTEA is not approved, can I appeal against the decision?
Applicants do not have a right of appeal. However, if you have any new evidence in support of your case, you can request a review of the original decision from your local social welfare office.

I am unemployed, however the course I am interested is not covered by the scheme. Does this mean that I will lose my social welfare payment if I take up the course?
No, not necessarily. It is possible to take up education, training and development courses not covered under the BTEA scheme and still retain your social welfare payment. Terms and conditions apply. Further information is available from your local social welfare office.


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